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17 SEO Mistakes You Should Know About

As we talk about SEO with partners or with clients, we often find ourselves referring to SEO mistakes instead of discussing strategies that work. Unfortunately, there are so many SEO myths that float around the internet and too many individuals that do not actually know much about search engine optimisation make statements that are simply incorrect.

The good news is that you can avoid SEO mistakes when you work with a true professional since they will not make the mistakes. However, we do understand that there are people that cannot afford to pay for the services of a professional SEO company. With this in mind, here are some commonly met SEO mistakes that you should know about.

1 Keyword Spam In Content

With so many articles talking about this mistake on the internet, it is a shame to notice that there are still many webmasters that stuff keywords on their pages. Nothing ruins your rankings as overusing the keywords you try to rank for. Make sure that you only use keywords naturally and that you use common sense SEO tips to help you develop high-quality content.

2 Irrelevant Backlinks

You have to be sure that the backlinks you obtain are relevant. This practically means that they have to come from related sites. Although it is normal to get some irrelevant backlinks without your knowledge, if you do get irrelevant backlinks because of your work, you will most likely end up with a Google Penalty.

3 Improper Guest Posting

Guest posting that is done with the sole purpose of gaining a backlink is a huge mistake made by too many at the moment. Do use guest posting but only get backlinks from sites that are in the same niche and that have high authority.

4 Developing Content Solely For Search Engines

You surely read articles that tell you to use H1 tags, keyword positioning, densities and so on. When you follow all this advice, you end up with articles that are solely written for search engines and that do not actually add value for visitors. Always remember that high-quality SEO focuses on the experience that the site visitor has when reaching your website.

5 Not Using Related Keywords

As an example, a site may want to rank high for a keyword like “office chairs”. The focus would be put just on this. It is a really bad idea. Developing natural content automatically brings in other keywords and thanks to your research, you will find other related keywords that can be used. You can rank for “white office chairs”, “brand office chairs”, “office chairs in Sydney” and so on.

6 Broken Links

When a site has too many broken links, either external links or internal links, search engines will not like it because the experience offered to those that search for something is bad. You will automatically lose rankings in the event that there are too many broken links on your site.

7 Duplicate Or Re-Written Content

A really commonly used tactic by many marketers and even by some regular site owners is to re-write content that is found somewhere else. At first, this works great but, eventually, search engines will notice and will penalize you.

When referring to duplicate content, besides having content that is copied from another site, which is obviously a mistake, there are also situations in which sites end up with a lot of duplicate content without the owners even realizing it. For instance, when using WordPress and not implementing a proper use of tags, you can end up with that. Use tools like Siteliner to see if you have such a problem.

8 Title Tags That Are Not Unique

When you use CMS systems, it is common for them to auto-generate title tags. That can also happen when you use plugins. Many sites exist on the internet with many pages that have the same title tags. It is a huge mistake since every single title tag should be unique. Search engines may believe that you have the same content when the same tag appears.

9 Not Using Meta Descriptions

Google now generates meta descriptions automatically so many do not use the meta tag anymore. This is a mistake because that tag that is automatically generated is usually the first text content that appears on a page. In most cases, the content will not be relevant and the tag will not bring in clicks. As CTR drops, your rankings can also drop. The meta description is a web page’s best possible sales text.

10 Using Keyword Tags

There are hundreds of thousands of sites that still use keyword tags. The sites that still use these keywords stand out like they just want to make search engines believe that the page is something when the truth is that this is not at all necessary. A long time ago the keyword tags were taken into account but nowadays they are totally irrelevant.

11 Not Using Google Analytics Or Webmaster Tools

We sometimes see people saying that they do not use these tools because they are owned by Google. In truth, those that do not use them either do not know why they are useful or are using some sort of black hat SEO approach. It is important to measure SEO results. Using tools like Webmaster Tools and Analytics will help you.

12 Not Using The Right Keywords

We often see site owners that want to rank for keywords that are improperly chosen. This usually happens as companies try to rank for keywords that they think clients would use. You have to always try to be as specific as you can be and if you do not know what keywords your potential clients would use, there are tools available to help you make a choice.

13 Having A Site That Cannot Be Crawled Properly

Why do you have a site? You want people to find it! We often see sites that have content that Google simply cannot find. Obviously, those sites do not have Webmaster Tools and Analytics installed. However, other problems also appear like not having an XML sitemap. You need to try to make your site as crawlable as possible.

14 Anchor Text Links That Are Irrelevant

Think about what anchor text you would link if you were to refer someone to content on your site. There is a huge possibility that this is what others will use as anchor text. Too many try to get backlinks with anchor texts that are simply irrelevant. While this is a really complex topic, you should always use relevant anchor text links.

15 Improper URL Structure

When you have an URL structure like, the structure is really bad. Preferably, the URL should include your keyword and when this does not happen, it is a wasted opportunity.

16 Slow Loading Speed

Page load speed is a lot more important now than it used to be. You have to be sure that your site will load as fast as possible. If the site loads too slowly, visitors will not wait for the site to load. Google realizes this and will drop your site in rankings.

17 Not Having A Mobile Friendly Website

Although you might not see this as important, you have to understand that search engines will rank sites differently when a mobile device is used. This will become a lot more obvious in 2015. Develop a site that is mobile friendly and does not forget about mobile page loading speed.

Hopefully, these SEO mistakes will not be made by you in the future. If you believe that there are others that should be mentioned, make sure to comment below. We are sure that visitors would love to hear more from you.


Arthur Choi

Arthur Choi

SEO Strategist

70% technical SEO, 30% offsite optimisation. Loves to strategise and build organic SEO campaigns for plumbers, excavators and e-commerce clients.

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